A fairly good lens with some drawbacks.

Started 6 months ago | User reviews thread
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Lasse p Regular Member • Posts: 263
A fairly good lens with some drawbacks.
1

Build quality

The 200-600 is a hefty lens, made most out of alloy it feels real solid in your hands, like it is build to last. Being an internal zoom lens with a pretty short zoom throw, it adds to the premium feel, as it does not extend while zoomed in or out making it less of a wobbly air-pumping mess. The lens is a bit on the heavy side though, and without a battery grip it feels unbalanced on the new A9II body. However once you add a battery grip it all comes together as a well balanced setup.

Auto-focus

Having only used this lens with Sonys top sports camera the A9II, this may not be the same experience shared with people using the A7/A7R series.

While not as fast as using a new prime lens, like the 135 1.8GM. I found the auto-focus with this lens to be fast and accurate. Fast enough even to grab onto small and fast birds. The short zoom throw makes it a breeze to go from 200 to 600 which you can manage in only half a wrist turn.

A Swallow in a fast dive, was no match for the auto-focus.

Optical qualites.

Coming from Nikons 200-500 5.6 zoom i found this lens wide open at 600mm, at F6.3 to be a little on the dark side in everything but on bright sunlight. Resulting in higher ISO numbers not previously needed with my prior system. Luckily the A9II only scuffs at higher ISOs and so I was able to shoot at ISO 1000-12800 pretty comfortably.

A hare @ISO 12800. Exported from Lightroom with no additional adjustments. Distance to subject about 5 meters.

Although the the lens is a 5.6-6.3 wide open, it manages to render the out of focus areas with a buttery smooth Bokeh and offering some great subject isolation.

Great subject isolation and Bokeh. Edited to taste.

The lens itself offers a good amount of resolution. My copy showed the best results in the 200-500mm range while being a little soft on the long end at 600mm. The lens was able to resolve a good amount of details on close subjects. While I found that the combination did not resolve distant subjects as well.

Distant subject at about 20 meters. Cropped to show detail. Exported from Lightroom. No additional adjustments.

The lens showed what I judge to be a ´acceptable´ level of sharpness wide open at 6.3. This improved when stopped down to F7.1 while achieving its best results stopped down to F8 showing a good amount of sharpness.

Good amount of sharpness at F8. Cropped to show detail. Distance to subject about 8 meters.

Conclusion

In general while i like the build quality, the internal zoom and the autofocus capabilities paired with the Sony A9II. I was not overly impressed with the optical qualities of my copy unless close to a subject and stopped down. I found it to be softer than my previous long telephoto zoom the much more affordable Nikon 200-500.
If this was due to the fact that I paired it with the Sony A9II´s 24 megapixels AA filtered sensor, I don’t know. But compared to my previous Nikon 200-500 5.6, it did not fare as well. In fairness though I did find that most of the Sony files sharpened up nicely in light room.

 Lasse p's gear list:Lasse p's gear list
Samsung Galaxy S10
Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS
Lens • Sony FE
Announced: Jun 11, 2019
Lasse p's score
4.0
Average community score
4.9
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